When I ask my clients what they’re great at and what sets them apart from their rivals, they tend to reply with a list of platitudes. Our people. Our values and ethos. Our willingness to go the extra mile.

While each of these points may have some truth, they don’t get to the bottom of why you can attract more customers or generate higher returns.

So, I then ask a different question: What is that you do so well that you could create a new business around it? This follow-up question tends to lead to silence. Even in successful companies, managers can find it difficult to define what drives their success.

But understanding these factors is critical to accelerating your growth, profits and innovation. Take Amazon, for instance. AWS, Amazon’s business that offers secure cloud services for running websites, file storage and other IT stuff that I don’t really understand, accounts for over 50% of its $20 billion profits.

In the early 2000s, Jeff Bezos and his team answered the “what are we great at?” question and turned it into a new business.  An internal need to improve the pace of software development had led the company to create a set of common infrastructure services, accelerating Amazon’s ability to improve its retail offer.

At an executive retreat in 2003, the leadership team realised that they had become so good at running these services that they could sell them to others, which is where AWS began. The rest, as they say, is history.

So, what is your organisation truly great at? And what do you do so well that you could create a new business around it?

Off The Record: Computer Love by Kraftwerk

Another lonely night

Stare at the TV screen

I don’t know what to do

I need a rendezvous

Computer love, computer love

The Time for Bold Moves

Growing through and beyond the pandemic requires bold actions, not timid plans. These 5 steps can help you to accelerate growth and transform your market position.

© Stuart Cross 2021. All rights reserved.